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Verona, Veneto

Verona is an ancient town, capital of its province, situated in a loop of the Adige River near Lake Garda. For its cultural and historical prominence, Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Verona was the birthplace of Catullus and Vitruvius, appeared in the travel diaries of Goethe, Stendhal, Paul Valéry, and was the setting of the story of Romeo and Juliet.

Info

  • Population: about 250,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 37100
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 045
  • Patron Saint: St. Zeno, celebrated on 21 May
  • Frazioni & Localities: Avesa, Basson, Ca' di David, Chievo, Madonna di Dossobuono, Marzana, Mizzole, Montorio, Nesente, Novaglie, Palazzina, Parona, Poiano, Ponte Florio, Quinto, Quinzano, San Felice Extra, Santa Maria in Stelle, Sezano.
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Provinces of Veneto

History

Verona was founded by Etruscans or by the Eugaei or Raeti tribes, but the first historical records are from the 4th century BC. It became a notable political and commercial center during Roman times. During the Middle Ages, it was the capital of the Italian Kingdom of Theodorich. The city reached the pinnacle of its political influence during the 14th century as the seat of power of the della Scala family (also known as the Scaligeri).

After the Venetian domination (1402-1797), Verona became part of the Cisalpine Republic. With the fall of Bonaparte, it became part of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia and one of the fortresses in the group called Quadrilatero. Verona become part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 after the Austro-Prussian War.

Due to the nature of the Adige flow, Verona was flooded many times in history, on average every 70 years. In 1956 the Mori-Torbole tunnel (500 cubic metre of discharge from the Adige river to the Garda lake in case of flood danger) was built to avoid disasters of that kind.

What to see

  • The Arena, the famous Roman amphitheatre, where opera is now performed in the summer months. The shape recalls the Roman Coliseum, and it was built in the mid-1st century AD on a site which at the time was outside the city walls. The amphitheatre could host over 30,000 spectators. The round facade was originally in white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but during the Middle Ages the Arena was used as a sort of quarry for other buildings. Its function as a theatre began again during the Renaissance.
  • The Roman theatre, built in the 1st century BC and retrieved in the 18th century thanks to Andrea Monga, a wealthy Veronese who bought all the houses that in time had been built over the theatre, demolished them and saved the monument.
  • Other Roman monuments, such as the Arco dei Gavi (Gavi Arch), dedicated to the important Roman family of the Gavii, built in the 1st century AD, and famous for having the name of the builder (architect Lucius Vitruvius Cordone) engraved on it. It had been demolished by the French troops in 1805 and was rebuilt in 1932.
  • Juliet's House and Balcony, though without a historical connection to the fictional characters of Shakespeare's tragedy, has nonetheless become a tourist attraction for lovers; the wall beneath is covered with their graffiti. Basilica of St. Zeno
  • San Zeno Basilica, built with alternating layers of white stone and bricks, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture, rebuilt in 1117 following an earthquake on the remains of an older church.
  • The Natural History Museum, containing one of the most valuable collections of fossils and archaeological remains of Europe.

Where to stay